Tens of thousands of Mexicans protest crime wave

Tens of thousands of frustrated Mexicans, many carrying pictures of kidnapped loved ones, marched across the country Saturday to demand authorities act to stop a relentless tide of killings, abductions and shootouts. The mass protests were a challenge to the government of President Felipe Calderon, who has made fighting crime a priority and deployed more than 25,000 soldiers and federal police to wrest territory from powerful drug cartels. A sea of white-clad demonstrators carrying candles filled the 4 kilometer route between the Mexico City's Angel of Independence monument and the main Zocalo square. The government estimated the crowd at 50,000 shortly after the march began, but thousands continued to pour into the streets. Thousands more marched in other cities across the country. Romana Quintera, 72, wore a photograph of her baby grandson who was kidnapped for ransom five years ago when gunmen burst into her home and killed her niece. Two people have been imprisoned for the attack, but they have refused to reveal the boy's fate, and Quintera said investigators have given up on the case. "We're desperate. We've been fighting for five years. We want an answer," she said, holding back tears. "We ask authorities with all our heart to be more sensitive. Maybe nothing like this has happened to them, or they would be more sensitive."